- The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Theatre
and Dance will present Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning
drama "Dinner with Friends" March 27-30 in the Gilbert
F. Hartwig Theatre.
Martin, second-year graduate student and director of the show,
explained "Dinner with Friends" is "about four
best friends who are forced to tear down their personal facades
to discover who their true friends really are."
Karen, Beth and Tom are best friends. When the play opens,
Gabe and Karen are having Beth and her children over for dinner
while Tom is out of town. After dinner, Beth breaks down and
admits that Tom is leaving her for another woman.
couples react to the changes in their lives, so do the audience
members, perhaps through association. Margulies is an acute
observer of the complexities of contemporary relationships
through his story. He makes the experience personal for everyone
through humor, compassion and understanding.
with Friends" is not just a "divorce play."
It is more subtle than that. While it may be one couple's
marriage that is breaking apart, the repercussions are at
least as significant and long lasting to the other couple.
know, I think it's really about the aftershocks that we all
experience when certain constants in our lives, things that
we perceive to be constant, suddenly shatter and are no longer
dependable," Margulies said in an interview for PBS'
"The News Hour." "It touches people, it upsets
people, it discomforts people...it also touches a nerve, and
I think that's one of the reasons why it has had the success
that it has had."
grew up going to the theater during his childhood in Brooklyn.
He attended SUNY-Purchase, where he studied as a collage artist
and began writing on the side. Interested in small details
and intimate relationships, Margulies looks at collage as
a format for writing plays. He's been awarded the Sidney Kingsley
Award and several Obie awards for his writing. He has twice
been nominated for Pulitzers (1992's "Sight Unseen"
and 1997's "Collected Stories") before winning for
"Dinner with Friends" in 2000.
also was awarded the Dramatist's Guild Hull-Warriner Award,
the Outer Critic's Circle Award and the Lucille Lortel Award.
In addition to his work for the theater, Margulies has written
numerous screenplays, adapted his own work for the screen
and regularly contributed to television shows such as ABC's
"Once and Again." Margulies now is working on "God
of Vengeance," based on Sholem Asch's 1906 Yiddish classic.
He teaches playwriting at Yale University.
cast at Southern Miss features graduate students Christy Parr
of Leonardo, N.J., and Rasheeda Moore of Charlotte, N.C.,
senior Joey Watkins of Petal, and sophomore Isaac Gardner
team includes graduate students Lisa Kappel on sets, Phillip
Bryan on costumes, Laura Happel on lighting and theater faculty
member Brian Hapcic on sound. The show will feature two matinees
March 29 and 30 at 2 p.m. Evening shows March 27-29 begin
at 7:30 p.m.
are $10 for adults, $8 for Southern Miss faculty and staff and senior
citizens, and $6 for students. For tickets, call the Southern
Miss Ticket Office at (601) 266-5418 or 1-800-844-8425. Order
online at www.tickets.usm.edu. Material may not be suitable
for all audiences.